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Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County named as angel by S.C. Secretary of State

The Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County earned praise and the title of angel due to its charitable efforts for child advocacy.

The agency was one of 10 agencies statewide named Wednesday by S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond’s 2022 Angel list, during a news conference at the Edgar Brown Building on the Capitol Complex in Columbia.

"It was very unexpected and we are very thrilled to receive the award," Maryann Burgess, executive director with the Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County said.

The Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County devotes 85.2 percent of its expenditures to its program services.

The agency was founded in 2003 to serve and support children who are victims physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect, or who have witnessed a violent crime.

It serves children between the ages of 3 to 18 years old and provides medical examinations, forensic interviewing and advocacy support services.

Angles also must have their financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office and nominations from the public.

“Charities do so much for our communities, and I am proud to recognize these wonderful organizations that have made a difference in the lives of so many South Carolinians,” Hammond said in a media release.

In order to be chosen, Angles must have over 80% or more of total expenditures to charitable programs. Additionally, Angels must have been in existence for three or more years, make good use of volunteer services, receive minimal funding from grants, have a significant presence in South Carolina and be in compliance with the South Carolina Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.

Other Angels recognized were, Cancer Association of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties, Inc., 93.2% , Defenders For Children of Greenville, 91.0%, Mercy Medicine Free Clinic of Florence,95.6%, Operation Home, Inc., of North Charleston, 91.6%, Programs for Exceptional People Inc. of Bluffton, 91.1%, Restore Mobility for the Blind of Lake Wylie, 94.1%, Sharing God’s Love, Inc.,of Irmo, 92.3%, The Dream Center of Pickens County of Easley, 95.0% and The Village Group of Georgetown, 98.9%.

“Charities do so much for our communities, and I am proud to recognize these wonderful organizations that have made a difference in the lives of so many South Carolinians,” said Secretary Hammond.

Before recognizing the 2022 Angels, Hammond released the 2021-2022 Wise Giving Report as part of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week in October.

The report includes wise tips for donors, data from professional solicitor contracts and joint financial reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.

The wise giving report includes the 2022 Give Smart Watch List, which names ten charities registered to solicit in South Carolina that have reported spending less than 40% of their expenses on charitable programs.

Charitable donors may research charities registered in South Carolina by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at sos.sc.gov., the release said.